4 out of 4 stars
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Filled with intrigue and the supernatural, Opaque by Cālix Leigh-Reign is an action-packed, science fiction novel about two extraordinary teenagers struggling to find peace in the lives they lead. Throughout the book, readers will encounter themes of introspection, love, forgiveness, family, and overcoming darkness.
Adam is an angry and confused young man, struggling with an inner darkness he doesn’t know how to fight. With the exception of an unhealthy and Oedipal affection for his mother, Adam hates everyone in his small town. That is until he meets newcomer Carly. Carly is young, beautiful, and filled with light. Despite an initial reluctance, Adam and Carly are drawn to each other. As their love grows, they discover that they both have dangerous secrets… secrets that some people are willing to kill for. In order to fight for their future and for the people they love, Adam and Carly must share what they’ve been hiding, face their fears, and dive deep within themselves to find power they didn’t even know they had.
I really enjoyed Opaque because not only is it a well-written and entertaining novel, but the author highlights the importance of facing the darkest parts of ourselves in order to find the light. The book also subtly emphasizes how critical forgiveness (of both others and ourselves) is in letting go of anger and overcoming our inner demons. The characters are well-developed and authentic. Each major character experiences significant growth, which adds dimension to the storyline. There are moments of suspense, action, romance, and humor throughout the book and these all contribute to a very pleasant reading experience.
There isn’t much I disliked about this novel. Admittedly, I struggled with Adam’s dark thoughts and behaviors in the beginning of the book. However, as I continued it became clear that Adam was a much deeper character who deserved to be discovered fully. Additionally, the story is told from the perspectives of multiple characters and sometimes the perspective switches so quickly (within the same paragraph) that it can be difficult to follow which character is “speaking” at that time. The only other thing I took issue with is that there is almost no translation of the Russian text, which I feel could be beneficial to the readers. A translation page at the end of the novel would be a useful addition.
I believe that this book has been professionally edited. I did not notice any spelling errors and only a few “true” grammatical errors that mostly have to do with incorrect tenses or seemingly unfinished sentences. I say “true,” because there were numerous instances of words being randomly hyphenated (i.e. Descen-dants, which is a proper noun that was used frequently and only had this issue once). However, I do not believe these are actual grammatical errors, rather I think they are formatting issues. In any other format, they could very well be words that are hyphenated because of text-wrapping. There were quite a few formatting issues with this PDF on my computer. Most did not impede my ability to read the novel, such as the hyphenation issues. There were a few places where the text had text over it, so it was impossible to read. Once again, this is most likely due to formatting and not an actual error in the book.
I think that almost anyone could enjoy Opaque, especially those with a penchant for young adult novels, science fiction, and comic book storylines. I wouldn’t recommend the book for anyone under the age of thirteen, as there are some violent scenes and depictions that could be problematic for younger readers. Also, there is some swearing, with at least one instance of non-borderline profanity. Cālix Leigh-Reign does a wonderful job bringing these characters to life as flawed, growing, and believable. Although I experienced some formatting issues and the rapidly changing character perspectives could be hard to follow, the story draws you in from the beginning and I’m excited to see what is next for Adam and Carly. Therefore, I must rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
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